Dear Molly

I love my cats. I really do. I take a lot of photos of them to share on various social media platforms [insert apology here].

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This is the more recent addition of the two: Sweet Josie. Too bad I’m not holding a Lonerider Sweet Josie in the shot. Josie is the love child: she nests, kneads (and needs), and has one of the most adorable “mews” ever.

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And, this is Milo. I adopted Milo in August 2010, and he is such a Momma’s boy. He purrs loudly, climbs into great spaces, and has some serious hops.

But, this is what I don’t love:

[4:30am] Meow. Meow. MRRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW. Brrrrrrrup! Brrrrrrrrrup!

(switch on vacuum cleaner)

[4:45am] Brrrrrrrrp! MEOW! MEOW!

(vacuum cleaner round 2)

[5:05am] Meeeeeeeeeeow. BRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp! *scratch scratch*

OH MY GOODNESS I AM UP YOU CAT THAT JUST GOT FED SEVEN HOURS AGO.

That. Is that part of your life as well? I have read dozens of articles on cat behavior, including the advice of “Dear Molly” from the Wake County SPCA, which is where both Milo and Sweet Josie landed after their lame families gave them the boot.  The first trick we tried came from a friend’s response to our Facebook call for help. When I lived at my apartment, I let the cats roam free (and most doors did not actually close). This included sleeping in my bed at night. When I moved in with Aaron, we made a pact that the bedroom was going to be a cat-free zone. Well, apparently the cats did not get that memo. Our friend suggested putting our vacuum cleaner outside of the closed door, running the cord underneath and plugging it into a power strip. Keeping the vacuum in the “on” position, you then turn on the power strip when the cat begins to scratch/meow.

Brilliant, right?

At first, it worked GREAT. The first night we had to turn the vacuum on 10 times. The next night: five or six. Each night the number decreased, and we thought: this is it! We’ll have this wrapped up in no time and finally be able to sleep in until our alarm.

Just kidding.

I learned I enabled him (because, let’s be real: Milo is the true culprit) when I would get up and open the door either to spray him with compressed air, yell, scream, chase him downstairs. So, then we hid under our pillows. Then put the vacuum back out.

I have tried feeding them later at night. Playing with them more right before bed. Ignoring them upon first waking up. Giving them more lap time at night. Delaying their breakfast until I returned from the Y (which meant Aaron’s night of sleep came to a screeching halt).

What else can one do? Anyone out there know the magic trick?

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I’m guessing it’s not taking artsy photos with your cat. Or is it?

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